6 job search tips to help you re­gain mo­men­tum

CityPress - - Careers - ROBERT HALF ca­reers@city­press.co.za

When your job search drags on for weeks and you feel no closer to land­ing a job than when you first started, it’s easy to get dis­cour­aged. But even if you aren’t get­ting the call­backs you were hop­ing for, now is not the time to call it quits. To stay mo­ti­vated and fo­cused dur­ing this frus­trat­ing time, use these six job search strate­gies to re­gain and main­tain your mo­men­tum.

1 Treat the search like a job

Un­em­ploy­ment of­ten leads to an aim­less feel­ing. The lack of a rou­tine is a ma­jor rea­son your mo­ti­va­tion may be wan­ing be­cause it’s a con­stant re­minder of your sit­u­a­tion. The key is to treat your search like a real job. Wake up at a rea­son­able hour and get dressed. Cre­ate a sched­ule with set times for phone calls, emails, so­cial net­work­ing and job board searches. Make to-do lists and check off each item as you com­plete it. Af­ter you’ve com­pleted your to-do list for the day, “clock out” and take part in any leisure ac­tiv­i­ties you en­joy.

In other words, con­duct your­self as if a boss were look­ing over your shoul­der. Stay fo­cused on your daily tasks and avoid play­ing a quick game of Solitaire or Candy Crush when you’re sup­posed to be work­ing. Lit­tle in­dul­gences may seem like some of the few perks of un­em­ploy­ment, but they can lead to list­less­ness and a dip in mo­men­tum.

2 Put your­self out there

As im­por­tant as it is for you to be con­nected on­line, you also need to make sure you’re oc­ca­sion­ally leav­ing the house. Not only will this help you get out of a rut, but it can help make you more mar­ketable. Sign up for a class or go to job fairs, work­shops, con­fer­ences and sem­i­nars, where you can meet peo­ple and brush up on your skills. Join pro­fes­sional as­so­ci­a­tions and at­tend their meet­ings, where you can learn about trends in your field. Vol­un­teer your time and skills with a worth­while or­gan­i­sa­tion, where you can work on your soft skills like writ­ten and ver­bal com­mu­ni­ca­tions. All of these things will deepen your net­work and help you find the right job.

3 Be proac­tive

Don’t wait for op­por­tu­nity to knock. In­stead, take the ini­tia­tive and knock on op­por­tu­nity’s door. In other words, even if the com­pa­nies you’re in­ter­ested in don’t list any job open­ings, con­tact them any­way and ex­press your de­sire to work there. This ex­tra ef­fort demon­strates en­thu­si­asm and ini­tia­tive, and hir­ing man­agers might take no­tice.

4 Track your progress

When you be­gin feel­ing like you’re go­ing nowhere, take some time to cre­ate a method to track the ef­forts you’ve made. Write up a list of re­al­is­tic short- and long-term goals with re­gard to your job search, and work to­wards them ev­ery day. For ex­am­ple, de­cide how many ap­pli­ca­tions you’d like to send out this week, or this month. Set a goal for the num­ber of net­work­ing events you’re go­ing to at­tend and for the num­ber of new peo­ple you’re go­ing to talk to about your search. Then keep track as you move to­wards the goal. In that way, you’ll have a tan­gi­ble way to prove to your­self you’ve made progress, some­thing that can help keep you mo­ti­vated as you con­tinue look­ing for a job.

5 Con­sider other work op­tions

A full-time job with a monthly salary is not the only type of work out there. You can ex­pand your search to in­clude part-time and con­tract work, or set your­self up as a con­sul­tant or free­lancer. Maybe you can barter your skills in ex­change for goods and ser­vices.

Sign­ing up with a staffing agency for tem­po­rary or pro­ject­based gigs can also be a pro­duc­tive ap­proach. It can bring in ex­tra in­come while you’re look­ing for full-time work. Even bet­ter, some part-time or tem­po­rary gigs can turn into full- time jobs or long-term con­tracts. But even if they don’t, they’ll still al­low you to make valu­able con­tacts that will help you in your job search.

6 Re­lax, recharge, re­vive

Al­low­ing a job search to take over your life is a sure way to burn out. Give your­self per­mis­sion to take a break from the search at night and on week­ends. When you make a point to re­lax and recharge for a few hours at the end of the work day, you’ll be able to start fresh the next day. A change of scenery and new ex­pe­ri­ences could just give you a new per­spec­tive on your search and ca­reer.

The key to find­ing em­ploy­ment is to keep at it. Don’t let a lull dis­cour­age you to the point of giv­ing up. By fol­low­ing these job search tips and per­se­ver­ing, you’ll greatly in­crease your chances of find­ing full-time work that is sat­is­fy­ing and re­ward­ing. – Ca­reer­builder.com

PHOTO: JOHN MOORE / GETTY IM­AGES

I KNOW I CAN When look­ing for a job, take the ini­tia­tive and knock on op­por­tu­nity’s door

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